Voices: Steve Zakuani

27 Takeaways: One observation on every MLS team after Week 10

Week 10 in MLS is in the books and there are plenty of storylines as usual, with a Player of the Week performance from Chicharito and another highlight-reel golazo from Nani among the highlights. Let's dive right in with this week's edition of 27 Takeaways coming off all the action.

Now winless in four and the last win was over a month ago. For a new coach, the last part to come together is usually in the goal-scoring department and that is proving to be the case here. Atlanta need more from Marcelino Moreno — he hasn’t been awful, not at all, but he hasn’t set the league alight either — he was signed to bring the fans to their feet and to help deliver results, and that is not happening right now.

Austin FC logo
Austin FC

They have been shutout in six of their last seven and have yet to christen their new home with a goal as of yet. Austin do play some lovely stuff at times in the first two thirds, but the lack of goals should be if alarming concern to anyone associated with the club.

Three of their seven goals this season came in the most recent game which tells you that goal-scoring has been a major issue. The Fire will be disappointed that they couldn’t hang on for all three points but they should be encouraged by the goals scored and for matching up well against a really good team.

Cincinnati were deserved winners against Toronto FC and showed glimpses of what they can be. Luciano Acosta remains one of the more creative playmakers when given the freedom to go and find the ball. If he can keep his level up, it’ll unlock the rest of the attack.

Colorado Rapids logo
Colorado Rapids

Last time out versus Sporting KC, they came crashing back down to earth after the great run they’d been on. Next up is a game against the Western Conference leaders, Seattle, where Colorado can really display just how strong their title aspirations are. I expect them to be extra motivated to put on a good showing for their fans due to the caliber of opposition.

Columbus probably deserved more from this last week, especially away to Philadelphia. They have a great opportunity to pit their wits against another team harboring championship hopes when the Revolution come to town. The area of concern is the lack of goals as the Crew were blanked in the last two and have only scored nine in 10 games.

FC Dallas logo
FC Dallas

A big win against an in form team like the Revolution can often be just the spark that is needed to go on and put a good run of form together. Ricardo Pepi was the hero as he marked his third straight start with his third goal in as many games.

D.C. United logo
D.C. United

D.C. simply don’t score enough goals. The approach play is good at times — they did shoot 27 times in the recent draw against Montréal — but they’ve yet to show that they have that dependable player who can put the finishing touch on their moves. Right now it looks like the lack of a consistent finisher is what will cost them,

Houston Dynamo FC logo
Houston Dynamo FC

Houston had a good draw away from home against Real Salt Lake, and a bad draw at home against the Timbers when they let a lead slip very late on. I’m still not sure which way their season will go as right now they aren’t doing enough to win games, but are doing just enough to avoid defeat.

They have too many key players playing far below their standard and they are also missing a consistent attacking threat to complement Carlos Vela and Diego Rossi in the way Brian Rodriguez and Adama Diomande once did. Without fixing those two issues, I think LAFC fans have to accept that the free flowing team that averaged 2.5 goals a game at times, may be a thing of the past.

It’s all about Chicharito right now. Every young striker should be watching film on him, The finishing has been top notch of course, but Wondo aside, I don’t think we have ever seen movement of his kind in this league before. He looks hungry, bought in and most importantly for Galaxy fans, he does not look like slowing down any time soon.

Inter Miami CF logo
Inter Miami CF

Gonzalo Higuain has been the lone bright spot in what is becoming an increasingly challenging season on and off the pitch. Losers of five of the last six, it doesn’t get any easier in the next four games, as Miami play the next two away from home, and then when do finally play at home again, they’ll face New England and Philadelphia — clearly two of the better teams in all of MLS.

Minnesota United FC logo
Minnesota United FC

Picked up a huge win away at Portland to add to their recent string of great results, Minnesota are finally looking like what we thought they would. It was another great outing for Adrien Hunou who picked up his second goal in as many games,

CF Montréal logo
CF Montréal

They will surely be disappointed by the late Nashville equalizer which saw them drop two points. Defensively, Montréal don’t concede many and so they always have a chance, but they are going to have to unlock this offensive group if they hope to keep pace with the best.

Nashville SC logo
Nashville SC

Nashville bounced back from a defeat by getting win and a draw in the following two games which says a lot about them. Still unbeaten at home, and with the next three being home games, they’ll have a real chance to break into the top two or three spots in the East.

New England Revolution logo
New England Revolution

The great run of form was going to have to end at some point. It’s all about bouncing back in the next game and starting a new run of good results. Having to do that with an away game at a good team like Columbus next on the list Is going to show us a lot about the mentality of this team when dealing with a setback

New York City FC logo
New York City FC

The Cityzens finally put together back to back wins and now sit in fourth place, just two wins from first place with a game in hand. The next two games, however, are away from home against two teams right on their heels in the standings.

New York Red Bulls logo
New York Red Bulls

Still winless on the road and so the last thing they’d want is to be facing a team like Orlando, winners of three straight, away from Red Bull Arena next. However, in the last meeting between the two, RBNY got the victory and they’ll need to use that same blueprint to pull off what would be an upset win based on how things are going.

Orlando City SC logo
Orlando City SC

They’ve put together three straight wins and boast the joint best defensive record in the league, plus the form of Nani continues to impress. Next up is RBNY, the last team to inflict defeat on Oscar Pareja’s men.

Philadelphia Union logo
Philadelphia Union

The two draws this past week against Atlanta and Chicago would have caused a little more cause for concern if they weren’t sandwiched around a huge win against Columbus in midweek. Unbeaten in eight and very much in the mix for the top seed as things stand.

Portland Timbers logo
Portland Timbers

The Timbers be disappointed with their showing against Minnesota, especially with the slow start that they never fully recovered from. Yes, they created many chances but only managed two on target and the defeat allowed the Loons to leapfrog them in the table.

Real Salt Lake logo
Real Salt Lake

A win, a defeat, and a draw is how their week went and it sums up the sort of team RSL are right now — not quite good enough to consistently win and keep pace with the very best teams, but definitely good enough to comfortably be a playoff team.

They’ve conceded eight in the last two games so it’s not tough to see where the issues lie. The Quakes' last win was away from home and seeing as their next three games are all on the road, they’ll be hoping to draw inspiration from that win at Real Salt Lake which seems like forever ago now.

Seattle Sounders FC logo
Seattle Sounders FC

Overall, it was an excellent week as the Sounders picked up seven points from a possible nine. But such is the standard and expectation at this club that the focus will be on fixing the issues that allowed Vancouver to leave Seattle with a share of the spoils.

Sporting Kansas City logo
Sporting Kansas City

An excellent come from behind win against LAFC was the latest proof that something special is happening in Kansas. They look solid from top to bottom, and right now they seem to be getting the absolute most from everyone who steps on the pitch. Alan Pulido, especially, has been excellent and has already matched his 2020 goal output.

Toronto FC logo
Toronto FC

The defeat against FC Cincinnati has to serve as the final wake up call for the players and coaching staff. It’s easy to blame the staff during times like this, but for me, it’s always on the players to simply find a way to play better. This is a team performing way below their true level.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC logo
Vancouver Whitecaps FC

The front three of Deiber Caicedo, Cristian Dajome and Lucas Cavallini were excellent against the Sounders at the weekend as they became the first group to score against the Rave Green from open play. Can the Whitecaps build on that terrific result to really get their season going? It only takes a couple of wins to be back in the the playoff picture and that should be plenty of motivation.